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Moving house with a baby

Moving house with a baby
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How to make a house move easy on your baby

Moving house is a stressful experience for anyone, but for a small baby or toddler, the change of routine and new experiences can be overwhelming. And an overwhelmed baby needs careful parenting, which will further complicate your moving day. Here are some tips to help you make the move as smooth as possible for everyone in the family:

Plan ahead before your house move

The more you plan ahead, the easier the move will be, and this goes double if you’re caring for a small baby while moving house. Start by creating a moving timeline and checklist. This will help you stay organised and on track. Think about the needs of the baby and his or her primary carer as you plan your move.

It may be possible to make a room in your new house ready for your baby before you move. We shared some ideas for a nursery in a recent post.

Even if your baby isn’t talking yet, it’s good practice to talk with them about moving home so they have some idea of what to expect. Toddlers will definitely benefit from some books and conversations about moving house.

Your baby isn’t the only one who will benefit from talking about the move: you can get some great tips from other parents who have been through a house move recently. Pregnancy site Emma’s Diary has a blogpost from a new dad about his experiences of a house move with a baby.

Get help with your move and with childcare

To be blunt, trying to move house without help while meeting the needs of a small baby is setting yourself up to fail. So don’t try to do everything yourself on moving day. Ask family and friends for help with packing, moving, and unpacking, or with looking after the baby. You can also hire professional movers to help with the heavy lifting.

New mothers, in particular, can be depleted after the birth and somewhat sleep deprived. So they need almost as much care as the baby does. Consider your own needs for food and rest: don’t skip meals, and don’t keep pushing on with the unpacking until you’re exhausted. Moving day is the perfect excuse for a takeaway or a time-saving ready meal, and also lots of cake and cups of tea.

Putting stuff you won’t be using in the near future into storage outside your home can relieve some of the pressure of a house move. Self-storage is particularly valuable if you need to have work done on your new home to improve storage. You can even reduce your self-storage costs by getting your insurance from an independent specialist like Store and Insure.

Pack your baby’s essentials last so they come out of the van first

Make a list of everything your baby needs during the day, for example, number of nappies, and put it all in one place. Make sure you have a way of making up any feeds required; and ensure mum gets plenty of time and space to breastfeed if that is needed.

If your baby’s essentials bag is the last thing to leave the old house, it will be the first thing out of the van at the new house, so this is a good way of keeping all your baby’s requisites handy.

Keep your baby’s routine as normal as possible

Try to keep your baby’s routine close to normal on moving day. This will help reduce stress and make the transition to the new home easier. So maintain bedtimes and naptimes as best you can, and ensure there’s a quiet, private space to take your baby for changes and feeding. An older baby may find all the comings and goings fascinating, and they will enjoy you talking to them about what’s going on. Involving them in the move will keep them engaged and reduce their anxiety about the change.

Be patient with your baby on moving day

Part of early parenthood is learning that you can’t achieve as much as you used to. Moving with a baby can be challenging, but it’s important to be patient. Allow yourself extra time to pack, move, and unpack. And don’t forget to take breaks to eat, drink and rest! Staying fed and hydrated yourself will stabilise your mood and help you to remain patient in the face of the most trying moving day.

Enjoy the new adventure! Moving to a new home can be a fun and exciting experience for both you and your baby.